Monthly Archives: February 2014

A conversation with former Congressman Steve LaTourette: Policy and Politics in a Midterm Election Year

Former Congressman Steve LaTourette (R-OH) is an 18-year veteran of the House of Representatives.

In his role as President of McDonald Hopkins Government Strategies, Congressman LaTourette will discuss:

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OSHA Forecast – 5 Important OSHA Issues to Monitor in 2014 (#3 – Focus on HazCom Enforcement)

By the national OSHA Practice Group at Epstein Becker & Green

As we closed the book on 2013 — a truly remarkable year of OSHA enforcement and regulatory activity — we look to the future, and think about what to expect from OSHA in 2014.  Over the next few weeks, we will roll out what we believe are the 5 most significant OSHA developments to monitor in 2014.

If you are interested in how accurate our past predictions have been, take a look at these articles from December 2011 forecasting five OSHA developments for 2012 and from December 2012 predicting three developments from OSHA in 2013.

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Surplus income gifts and Inheritance Tax: are you fit for the fight?

UK Inheritance Tax (IHT) is essentially a tax on capital at death but allowing unused income to accumulate over the years, in effect turning itself into chargeable capital, can increase a person’s IHT liability.
It is a common misconception that one has to survive all gifts by seven years before the gift will be free of IHT.  Generally that tends to be true of capital gifts but not necessarily so for gifts of income.  If it is possible to show a regular pattern of gifts, made out of income that is not needed to maintain the giver’s standard of living, then the gifts may be exempt from IHT immediately. 
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Physician Licensure Compact and the Future of Telemedicine

A significant barrier to the interstate practice of telehealth is closer to being broken down. The Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) has completed and distributed a draft Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, designed to facilitate physician licensure portability that should enhance the practice of interstate telehealth.  Essentially, the compact would create an additional licensing pathway, through which physicians would be able to obtain expedited licensure in participating states.  As the FSMB notes in its draft, the compact “complements the existing licensing and regulatory authority of state medical boards, ensures the safety of patients, and provides physicians with enhanced portability of their license to practice medicine outside their state of primary licensure.”  This is a potentially significant development because burdensome state licensure requirements have been a major impediment to the interstate practice of telehealth. A physician practicing telehealth is generally required to obtain a medical license in the state where the patient—not the physician—is located.  As a consequence, physicians wishing to treat patients in multiple states need to obtain a license in each of those states in order to practice medicine lawfully, a lengthy and expensive process.

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Multistate Tax Update — February 27, 2014

Florida: Are your leasehold improvements subject to sales tax?

The Florida Department of Revenue (the “Department”) recently issued guidance on a topic that has been the subject of a longstanding debate and various litigation matters in Florida.  That topic is whether leasehold improvements relating to commercial leases are subject to sales tax.  For example, if your business leased vacant and unfinished commercial space, you might plan to finish such space to your specifications.  One question you may have not considered is whether such leasehold improvements are subject to sales tax. 

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Healthcare and Data Privacy and Cybersecurity Alert: HIPAA covered entities face March 1 deadline for breach reports

HIPAA covered entities (healthcare providers, health plans or healthcare clearinghouses) that discovered a breach of Protected Health Information (PHI) in 2013 involving fewer than 500 individuals are required to report those breaches by March 1, 2014.

The HITECH Breach Notification Rule requires covered entities to notify the affected individuals and the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) (and in some cases, the media) of breaches of unsecured PHI, and requires business associates (generally, contractors or vendors who perform services or functions for covered entities and have access to PHI) to notify covered entities of breaches of unsecured PHI. In 2013, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of HHS revised the standard for determining whether a breach occurred. Any use or disclosure of unsecured PHI that is not permitted under the HIPAA Privacy Rule is now presumed to be a breach (and therefore triggers the notification obligations) unless either the incident satisfies one of three relatively narrow exceptions, or the covered entity or business associate demonstrates a low probability that PHI has been compromised, based on a risk assessment of at least four factors as set forth in the Breach Notification Rule. The prior definition of “breach” (which was in effect prior to Sept. 23, 2013) focused on a “risk of harm” analysis. 

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Federation of Women Contractors Member Luncheon (Michael Latiff)

McDonald Hopkins attorney Michael Latiff will discuss recent hot items and trends in OSHA for the coming year at the Federation of Women Contractors member luncheon on February 27, 2014.

For more information or to register, click here.

http://www.fwcchicago.com/Default.aspx?pageId=1560693&eventId=802264&EventViewMode=EventDetails

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Effective Use Of Rhetorical Questions In Jury Summation

The art of persuasion comes in many forms. Recently, we wrote an article about the plaintiff bar’s embrace of Reptile theory. The Reptile theory asserts that you can prevail at trial by speaking to, and scaring, the primitive part of jurors’ brains. However, good trial counsel can effectively utilize more traditional forms of persuasion in their summations. Trial counsel do not need to bring reptilian logic into the courtroom when they can rely on oratorical techniques that have effectively swayed audiences for centuries. Just consider Shakespeare’s use of rhetorical questions in Marc Anthony’s funeral oration in Julius Caesar, which turned mourners into an angry mob.

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Effective Use Of Rhetorical Question In Jury Summation

The art of persuasion comes in many forms. Recently, we wrote an article about the plaintiff bar’s embrace of Reptile theory. The Reptile theory asserts that you can prevail at trial by speaking to, and scaring, the primitive part of jurors’ brains. However, good trial counsel can effectively utilize more traditional forms of persuasion in their summations. Trial counsel do not need to bring reptilian logic into the courtroom when they can rely on oratorical techniques that have effectively swayed audiences for centuries. Just consider Shakespeare’s use of rhetorical questions in Marc Anthony’s funeral oration in Julius Caesar, which turned mourners into an angry mob.

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The Business Associate Agreement Battle – Understand the Key Issues

The September 2014 deadline for amending pre-existing HIPAA business associate agreements (BAA) is fast approaching.  Are you ready?  Under the HITECH Act, covered entities and business associates have just under seven months to negotiate and implement amendments to all BAAs entered into prior to January 25, 2013. In the face of the unprecedented challenge of […]
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